Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine: April 2015 issue

Given the magazine's title you expect lots of coverage of the WDYTYA? Live coming up in Birmingham, April 16-18 at the National Exhibition Centre. We get it in a eight page section dedicated to the event. Cutting through the hype, and the grumbling about the location from those whose ambit never wanders north of the M25, it appears attendees will enjoy an experience which will be pretty much a continuation of that of the previous years at London's Olympia.
Most of the exhibition area is dedicated to companies and nonprofit organizations showing what they have to offer. Ancestry is the biggest and will continue to offer open access to their website with staff experts on hand to provide help in getting the most out of the service. All the other major commercial companies will be present including Family Tree DNA which will again offer its own lecture theatre. One of their presentations I expect will have standing room only will be by Turi King, the leader of the project that identified the skeleton the in Leicester car park as Richard III. That's one I'll be sorry to miss.
There are lots of other good presentations in a programme organized by the Society of Genealogists by celebrities and genealogy celebrities including Else Churchill, Audrey Collins, Janet Few, Kirsty Gray, Celia Heritage, Debbie Kennett and Rebecca Probert. There are even a few men speaking!
This is supposed to be a review of the magazine, not the event, so lets's not overlook the other content.
The article featured on the cover is searching pre-1837, when civil registration started in England and Wales By Pam Ross. The task gets increasingly difficult as you move back in time. Parish records of baptisms, marriages (banns and licences), and burials are the most common sources, especially helpful if used to reconstruct families. Wills, military records, apprenticeships, poor law, manorial records and early newspaper are all included in this useful overview.
I was surprised to read in the editor's introduction that Chris Paton was the author of an article on DNA. Chris is a prolific author but DNA is not one of the topics I've seen him delve into previously. In fact the author is Chris Pomeroy, an established author on DNA topics. He looks ahead on where DNA testing for genealogy is going quoting extensively from Debbie Kennett. I think he jumps the gun a little on dismissing STR testing of Y-DNA which in my view still has life in it, but is right on in looking forward to the time when we'll have a readout of our full genomes, and although he doesn't say so, hopefully fully phased so we'll know which of each chromosome pair came from which parent.
Other articles worth scanning include the top five websites for researching aristocratic ancestors by Jonathan Scott and an article by regular contributor Alan Crosby on tax records.
Read the complete table of contents at www.whodoyouthinkyouaremagazine.com/.

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